Third Of Never/MOODRING Press Release

jon at jon at
Thu Jun 14 10:18:05 CDT 2007

it's start as a script. Guitarist Jon Dawson, who had grown frustrated  
with the musician pool in his native North Carolina, was working on a  
project that would incorporate live rock and roll, film, and a stage  
play. " I was having a hard time finding musicians that would dedicate  
themselves to the usual amount of work that it takes for a band to  
work, so I wanted to devise a new way to put the songs on display, so  
the original idea was to create a story that could be told through a  
song cycle. The performance would take place in a theatre with actors  
putting on a play, and between scenes the band would play a song that  
moved the story along, and at the same time transitional films  
relating to the play would be projected. The songs were recorded in  
demo form and a rough script was drafted. It actually made it to the  
workshop stage through the efforts of friends in New York, but a  
chance meeting with Kurt Reil of the Grip Weeds turned my attention  
back to the idea of a traditional band situation."

Dawson saw Reil perform with the Grip Weeds at a music festival in  
North Carolina, and was smitten with the bands approach to music. "I  
was envious of what they were doing, as I had tried to find musicians  
like that to form a band around, but had been having great  
difficulty." As the months progressed, Dawson continued working on the  
idea of the rock band/play/film project. He contacted Smithereens  
drummer Dennis Diken about being involved in the project, and during  
their conversation Dennis suggested recording at the House Of Vibes in  
New Jersey. "Dennis spoke highly of this studio, so I went online and  
lo and behold it was owned and operated by the Grip Weeds! I saw this  
as a sign and immediately approached Kurt about forming a band. After  
a few days of discussions Kurt was on board, and that got us going."

To flesh out the band, Dawson went after a pair of brothers who had  
already made their mark on the indie rock scene. "I was a big fan of a  
record that Kurt and Dennis had worked on with Jim Babjak of The  
Smithereens, and the bass player was Vince Grogan. Kurt said that he  
was still living in the area, so I went after him, and was lucky  
enough to get him. Now what I was looking for was a  
multi-instrumentalist....someone who could handle guitar and keyboard  
duties, along with vocal support. "Kurt had played me a few tracks  
from this album that he co-produced and played on by CJ Grogan, and it  
was fantastic. I just got the urge to call him out of the blue and  
pleaded my case, and yet again I lucked out and brought him in to the  
fold. I now had the absolute dream line-up that I'd been looking for.  
It was like going from despair to jubilation in a matter of weeks."

The next step was to finish the songs. "I turned over my demos and  
lyric ideas and we just took it from there. It was really a situation  
of everybody throwing in their ideas into a pot and seeing what worked  
the best. Writing with Kurt and CJ was a real education and alot of  
fun." While the songs were being fleshed out, Jon got an email from  
one of his musical heroes, John "Rabbit" Bundrick of The Who. "I'd  
contacted Rabbit several months earlier about being involved in the  
project, but he was in the midst of recording the latest Who album in  
England, and was unavailable. Luckily for me, the sessions were soon  
over and Rabbit was now available. I originally contacted Rab about  
playing on the Pete Townshend cover that we do on the album, as he'd  
played on the original. However, he asked me to send all of the  
tracks, which I did. A few days later he contacted me and said that  
he'd be glad to play on the whole album, as he was a big fan of what  
we were doing, which absolutely floored me. I'd gone from not being  
able to get a band together at all to having some of the top musicians  
in the world at my disposal. We had a nice little trail of music  
strewn from Carolina to Jersey to England."

The songs that make up MOODRING follow the story of the original  
script idea. "It's about a guy who has had enough of reality, and the  
lengths that he goes to in order to avoid it. There is a neat little  
story there to follow if people want it, but the songs work on their  
own also. If you want to sit down and listen to the whole thing and  
have a little movie for your ears you'll be able to...if you just want  
a bouncy little number to listen to while you do the dishes, then  
it'll work on that level too."

The band will be promoting the record through live shows, radio,  
internet, and film projects.

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